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  1. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to jticarruthers in Gratuity Breakdown   
    It is an interesting discussion. I think that just as with everything else there are multiple sides of every story :)
    I think the culture of family and duty to family plays into this a lot as well.
    A couple of years back we had a very slow section of the dining room and spent a good portion of each evening discussing life/the job/family with our waiter. He was (as suggested in a comment above) supporting his own family, his parents and some extended family (I forget the exact count but think it was 2-3 siblings and their families). He talked extensively about how proud he and his family were that he could provide for them all, etc. How much he enjoyed being able to go home between contracts and in general how lucky he considered himself to be able to have the work/life that he had.
    So clearly the money was good enough ;)
    In general I think the wages+tips are poor by 1st world aka US standards but pretty darn good by the standards of the countries that most of the employees call home.
    I also side with Monctonguy on this one and wish they would get rid of the "mandatory gratuities" and put it all in the cruise fare. I would much rather know the real price up front and then feel free to tip for exemplary service than have to explain to other first time cruisers that the price is not the price, tipping really shouldn't be optional and then trying to decide how much "Extra" I want to tip.
  2. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace got a reaction from WAAAYTOOO in Emerald C&A not on reservation & check-in question   
    I'm waiting to hear if they let me get the 25 for my wife lol. I sent a request because why not. She's new to royal so hoping they just give it to me but if not it only took me 5 minutes to do. You will never know unless you try ;)
  3. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to monctonguy in Gratuity Breakdown   
    You do realize that the average Canadian income is about $35,000 USD...for someone who works all year(2 weeks vacation) and losses about half that in taxes so take home less than 20,000......so please don't tell me that $30,000 USD in just tips is low...on top of their low cost of living on the ship and back home.
    I know they don't work 365...but lets say they work what we work on average...that's still a great tip.  Are you kiddin me?? These are not wages remember. This is on TOP of wages. And I am guessing its more like 20 rooms they clean..so closer to $60,000 USD  then in tips....subtract what they don't work when they are off.
  4. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in Gratuity Breakdown   
    Thanks for sharing that breakdown @monctonguy.  I always think too of the people they might be supporting back at home.  Many of them come from families where they have multiple children and maybe even older parents to care for.  So not sure how far their money has to stretch.  But definitely interesting to see the math...
  5. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to mom2mybugs in Emerald C&A not on reservation & check-in question   
    I was able to get the 25 applied a couple weeks before we boarded.  I had my travel agent call crown and anchor but im sure you can do it directly.  Jane
  6. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to JamesGurner in Emerald C&A not on reservation & check-in question   
    We sailed from Southampton last year with 3 couples, with a 3 having different C&A status.
    We queued together for priority check in and although we had different boarding times as we were a party they were fine to let us all go on the earliest boarding time together. 
  7. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to mom2mybugs in Flights to Europe   
    Im going on my  first trip to europe...viking river cruise out of paris...this summer but will be back on royal for a 2019 mediterranean/greek isle cruise on vision.  That was a total impulse trip and i didnt even check another line.  While vision is older, it was my first ship in 2015 and i loved it.  The itinerary of 8 ports and 4 sea days was a nice combo of relax and tour and i cant wait.  Ive never considered the air pkg through royal because i heard it was always more pricey but now i will at least check it before i buy.  Jane
  8. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace got a reaction from mom2mybugs in Grand Cayman   
    Hell is nice for about 10 minutes. There isn't much to do other than taking pictures. Some tours do stop there for a few minutes anyways so you might get lucky. When you are back in town Margaritaville is only good for its slide (sad to say its expensive and slow) There is a nice little place overlooking the water called Paradise (you will see the water trampoline if you look at the sea.) My old "watering hole" is called Guy Harvey's (upstairs and  Bar Crudo downstairs) it has changed a lot since I went there but its still a nicer location and tends not to be as busy (tourists tend to stick with names they know.) If you are looking for a good Caribbean flavour then you have Rackams on the waterfront just up the road towards Seven Mile Beach (maybe a 10-minute walk.) From where I work most things in town are about a 10-15 minute walk so it should give you an idea of how small our town area is. We also have a newer area called Camana Bay which is pretty nice but is geared more towards the locals but offers very nice atmosphere but may be out of the way depending on your time restrictions. 
  9. Haha
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to Gears in Deluxe Drink Packages   
    So here's the subject line from the e-mail verbatim: EXCLUSIVE! It's a special announcement for you: Save big before you board.
    The Deluxe Beverage Package is priced $3 more than it was last week (when it was $47). Aren't I special! Nothing else has changed...but it's EXCLUSIVE!. SMH...RE
  10. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to twangster in Marnier of the Seas Upgrade/Refurbishment ?!   
    It seems counter-productive to cruising.  Buying a smartphone on a whim is one thing.  Buying a cruise vacation is very different.
    Who is going to book in the prime June-July-August summer vacation peak without knowing anything?  Safer to book another ship.
    Granted the 3/4 night FL market is a different target audience so maybe those are mostly booked on a whim, last minute. 
  11. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to twangster in Lounges/Bars   
    Do check out the helipad which is open to the public unless there are high winds.
    The Viking Crown Lounge or "Olive or Twist" as the bar is known as now has great views and open to the public.  Vintages is a nice wine bar and the Pub are both public bars to hang out in.
    Pictures from my Christmas Live Blog :
    Viking Crown Lounge / Olive or Twist



  12. Thanks
    LetsTryThisPlace got a reaction from JLMoran in I really need some positive thoughts / good vibes right now   
    Good luck and I'm sure you will feel better much quicker then you think.
  13. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to tiny260 in I really need some positive thoughts / good vibes right now   
    Joe, if it's any consultation, I had my knee scoped on a Friday, recuperated the remainder of Friday, Saturday and Sunday (No pain medication beside Advil, so I could drive myself) and went to work on Monday with my brace and crutches, by the end of Monday I wasn't using the crutches. I'm just saying with new medical procedures recovery is a lot less than it used to be.
    Have faith and good luck with the procedure tomorrow.
  14. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to JLMoran in I really need some positive thoughts / good vibes right now   
    So an update on the situation. I saw the general surgeon today, and I got the best possible outcome in my book.
    First off, he said he's comfortable with having me get my planned knee surgery tomorrow. Since the other issue isn't causing any major pain or giving other signs that the timing is more critical, we're doing that second surgery on Monday, Feb 12. Basically giving my knee the time to heal and get the sutures out, as well as give me a little extra time to be ready for a second round of general anesthesia.
    Second, recovery time with laparoscopic version of this procedure is definitely on the shorter end of that range I'd seen, and he said 4 weeks should actually be plenty good to be well enough to navigate a cruise ship, go swimming, etc.. There's some small chance that he'll find after starting the laparoscopic work that he can't do it that way and will have to switch to regular open incision surgery, but even if it came to that he said it shouldn't add more than a week to the recovery time. With this second surgery on the 12th, I'll have just over six weeks until our flight to FLL. That'll be enough time to heal up rock solidly and board that plane with no worries about comfort, and board the ship three days later without worries about getting around.
    So I am definitely feeling very relieved right now. I have to be at the surgical center for the knee arthroscopy tomorrow morning at 8:30, and I'll probably be zonked out the rest of the day. But soon as I'm feeling up to sitting at a computer again (or at least using my phone for prolonged periods without wondering the meds will make me do ), I'll let everyone know how it all went.
  15. Haha
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to coneyraven in I really need some positive thoughts / good vibes right now   
    Um --- yeah ...... thank you for painting quite a picture ..... now if I could only "unsee" it in my brain.
  16. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to JLMoran in I really need some positive thoughts / good vibes right now   
    @ellcee, very glad to hear your friend had such a positive outcome. In my case the surgery procedure itself is already about as basic and routine as it gets, it just happens to be one of those operations that simply needs a longer time to recover because of incisions into muscles and such. Without going into detail, suffice to say that it's a routine operation that many many men have to undergo at one time or another in their lives. In my case, I've just got the bad luck that this will be time #3, and it's just the general timing of it that had me so wigged out yesterday.
    I do feel a fair bit less stressed out today; maybe because I'm simply accepting that I've done all I can for now and did it as quickly as I could, maybe because I've had time to process it all and get a little more of a grip. For sure the feedback from you all is a big help as well, just to hear the reassurances from folks who are friends and not immediate family (there really is a difference ).
    Yesterday just felt like the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. We had a scare with my wife last month (seems to have been nothing in the end, but we're staying vigilant), then the knee issue, then this. They say bad luck comes in threes, so I'm really hoping this will be the end of it all.
  17. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in I really need some positive thoughts / good vibes right now   
    Joe - As hard as it may be, take care of the things that you can control and let go of the things that you have no control over.  It sounds like you have so much on you already, don't let the "what ifs" weigh you down.  You will still have a wonderful vacation no matter what, and if you do miss a few things due to mobility, then take comfort in knowing that as long as you take care of your health now, there will be another time.  A great vacation is what you make out of the situation that you are in.  Keep us posted.  
  18. Haha
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in Giving a Cruise as a Gift   
    Lol!  That sounded like us.  Except when we got on board my parents pulled a disappearing act for most days.  Didn't respond to texts.  Claimed it was delayed timing! 
  19. Haha
    LetsTryThisPlace got a reaction from joost in When is your next cruise?   
    its crazy close 
  20. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to monctonguy in Marnier of the Seas Upgrade/Refurbishment ?!   
    Well there has to be a lot going on..if this is the biggest one ever....wish there was more concrete info out about it...I am surprised they haven't released more to try and drum up excitement and bookings etc for this seeing as its such a big thing...or so they make it seem like.
  21. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to twangster in Marnier of the Seas Upgrade/Refurbishment ?!   
    On another site it was stated the "modernization" (not refurbishment) will take place in Cadiz, Spain.  
    ON CC I found reference to a May transatlantic cruise that was cancelled and a claim that staff on board reported no passengers will be on board for the new Spain to FL reposition cruise.
    Speculation is that work will continue during the TA so no guests.
    On the most recent investors call they offered fleet wide modernizations in 2018-19.  Project excalibur is supposed to bring new tech eventually to the whole fleet.  Wonder if that will be done now during the TA since it likely wasn't part of the original project plan for the dry dock.
  22. Haha
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to constable145 in Giving a Cruise as a Gift   
    I've done it three times.
    The first time, I sent my folks on their first cruise for the 30th anniversary... It was on the Carnival Triumph out of NYC ( Don't hate me- it was cheap. I was younger and on a budget). We gave them separate gift bags containing motion sickness pills and I want to say sun screen. In the next bag was a folder with a picture of the ship leaving the NYC harbour with the Mahattan sky line in the background and all of their travel docs.
    We've since sent brought both sets of folks with us on the Radiance with us in Alaska in 2013 and the Harmony last year. Last year was much less ceremonious... " Hey- can you guys look after the grand daughter? "  "Of course, when? " " Night 6 we want to go to Chops.. oh, ps, you're coming with us"
  23. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to marymcpherson in Giving a Cruise as a Gift   
    We're going as a family (my dad, myself and 2 brothers), i like the visit to the port idea, wouldn't work in our case since the departure port is Athens, and we live in Toronto  I do like the model ship idea, something to wrap and we'll be able to see the moment he gets what it is
  24. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to JLMoran in Flights to Europe   
    It's from Copenhagen, Denmark. I was also looking at that itinerary, as it has two stops in Iceland with an overnight in Reykjavik. Depending on the year / ship, it will end in either Boston or Cape Liberty. Only offered once a year and sells out super-fast.
    For a while there I was thinking that would be the cruise for me in 2020, but after looking at the offerings from HAL I'm seriously reconsidering. 
  25. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace got a reaction from ladyanderson in Is My Cruise Already Sold Out?   
    What about a site like Travelocity too. I do agree with @Sabrinaklai Royal's IT is the worst I have ever seen. Also if it is sold out wait for the 90-day mark when payments need to be made. Many times people cancel at this point. If you still can't find it I would call for sure.
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